Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
 
Old 08-11-2020, 06:05 PM   #1
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: WA
Posts: 42
Default Chevy air conditioning madness

The engine-driven air conditioner in our '00 chassis '01 200 (3500 Chevy van) is leaking refrigerant. Our Chevy dealer has refilled it three times recently, with dye added, and is unable to find the leak.

The dealer is claiming they cannot trace the system past the firewall into the cab, "because of the conversion work." This seems like hooey to me. Is there a reason the dashboard cannot be opened up? They've done major work on the engine in the past, opening up the engine cover inside the van.

I'm ready to take the van to another dealer. Does anyone have any recommendations for a dealer in the greater Seattle area? Thanks.
__________________

rtbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2020, 06:21 PM   #2
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 9,006
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbill View Post
The engine-driven air conditioner in our '00 chassis '01 200 (3500 Chevy van) is leaking refrigerant. Our Chevy dealer has refilled it three times recently, with dye added, and is unable to find the leak.

The dealer is claiming they cannot trace the system past the firewall into the cab, "because of the conversion work." This seems like hooey to me. Is there a reason the dashboard cannot be opened up? They've done major work on the engine in the past, opening up the engine cover inside the van.

I'm ready to take the van to another dealer. Does anyone have any recommendations for a dealer in the greater Seattle area? Thanks.

I think you will be way better off at an independent garage that somewhat specializes in AC problems. The only thing I can think of that would affect things in the conversion would be you may have to remove the seats which is common on many vans anyway.


On our next generation chevy, the AC evaporator is right behind the blower motor accessed from under the hood so could get to that easily and that is all that is inside. May not be able to replace it from there but may be able to test the area.
__________________

booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-11-2020, 07:06 PM   #3
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: PHX, AZ
Posts: 1,484
Default

Dealers tend to hire young techs with recent book learning only on the models presented to them


They are taught practical experience often by those who are only a few years older than they


and have little knowledge of earlier models and systems and inability to think outside "their own" box.

an independent a/c specialist will know A/C systems back to the 60's and be able to sort you out- check BBB ratings

There are few jobs the dealer can do better or less expensive than an indy - they are there for the warranty work or for imports where parts are not available in the aftermarket


Mike
mkguitar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2020, 09:56 PM   #4
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: WA
Posts: 42
Default

Thanks for the replies. After the last recharge the dealer drove the van over 100 miles to see if the A/C would fail again. It did not, so I brought the van home. At least the dealer had the good sense not to charge us this time.

Currently the A/C is working, so we are weighing whether to take a trip and risk a miserable drive home if it fails again.

I am wondering whether there is a seal that needs regular exercise to remain tight.

I am starting to look into independent shops in the Seattle area.
rtbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2020, 10:06 PM   #5
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: PHX, AZ
Posts: 1,484
Default

ac systems the lubricant is contained in the refrigerant, regular use is good practice, I run mine even in the winter from time to time to move the lubricant through the system. it lubes the seals and also the compressor internals



when approaching home, a few miles out, good practice to turn off ac and switch to fresh air ( from recirculating or "max air" as GM calls it) with fan on high- this will help to keep the ac dry and reduce "musty smell"
mkguitar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2020, 10:18 PM   #6
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 9,006
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by rtbill View Post
Thanks for the replies. After the last recharge the dealer drove the van over 100 miles to see if the A/C would fail again. It did not, so I brought the van home. At least the dealer had the good sense not to charge us this time.

Currently the A/C is working, so we are weighing whether to take a trip and risk a miserable drive home if it fails again.

I am wondering whether there is a seal that needs regular exercise to remain tight.

I am starting to look into independent shops in the Seattle area.

Bad for a couple of fills and good after another kind of sounds like and intermittent leak in something like the fill valve or perhaps and old seal or such, like in the rotating parts. Sometimes AC won't leak when running, but will when sitting, too, I have been told.
booster is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-17-2020, 10:23 PM   #7
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: WA
Posts: 42
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by mkguitar View Post
when approaching home, good practice to turn off ac and switch to fresh air ( from recirculating or "max air" as GM calls it) with fan on high- this will help to keep the ac dry and reduce "musty smell"
Yep, that's mold growing on the wet heat exchanger. It's never been a problem in our Chevy RT but I dry out the A/C anyway. Other cars have had the problem. Drying the air conditioners helps keep it from becoming too bad. And it's not something you should only do when nearing home; you should do it whenever you are done with the car for the day.
rtbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-18-2020, 01:10 AM   #8
Platinum Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2014
Location: Herndon, Virginia
Posts: 329
Default

While there are many potential places for an A/C system to leak: hoses, connections, condenser: the most common and likely is the Compressor because it involves a rotating seal. It is also common for it not to show any evidence of leaking with a quick survey with an electronic probe. You need an experiences A/C specialist which may be difficult to find in your area (WA?).
JohnnyFry is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2020, 05:44 PM   #9
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2018
Location: ON
Posts: 30
Default

your A/c should not have been filled 3 times until all leaks are fixed. on vehicles that are 20 years old you can sometimes look at major expenses to replace almost all hoses, condenser, evaporator, tx valve and reseal compressor . You basically have a new system that is good for another 15 years and if you are keeping the vehicles it is worth the money.
Scottie409 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-20-2020, 10:12 PM   #10
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: WA
Posts: 66
Default

Under dashboard componant could be leaking. Dasboard removal is labor intensive, and on a 20 yo vehicle could be damaging to the plastics to the tune of $1000 for replacement. Dealers dont want that responsibility, but if you sign a waiver they may be willing to tear into it.
Peder_y2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2020, 09:33 PM   #11
Bronze Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: WA
Posts: 42
Default

Currently the AC is working. An independent shop could not find any traces of dye. They verified the system is charged and contains dye. So I guess we drive it until it fails again....
rtbill is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 08-31-2020, 11:31 PM   #12
Silver Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: WA
Posts: 66
Default

Remember to operate the AC at least once a month during the off season to keep the lubricant througout the system. That prevents the compressor from seizing up.
__________________

Peder_y2k is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off


» Featured Campgrounds

Reviews provided by

Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.3

All times are GMT. The time now is 11:15 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.8 Beta 4
Copyright ©2000 - 2020, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
×